14th Annual Middle East Vis Pre-Moot

Group photo of participants at the 14th Annual Middle East Vis Pre-Moot

The Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR), in collaboration with the Center for International Legal Education (CILE) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) has successfully concluded the 14th Annual Middle East Vis Pre-Moot program.

The week-long program, now a cornerstone for fostering knowledge and expertise in international commercial arbitration among students from the region, was hosted from 5 to 9 February 2024 at the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) with the participation of more than 70 students forming 18 teams from 13 countries across the Gulf and the wider MENA region.

The program included a two-day comprehensive training session focused on team development and competitive oral advocacy, followed by a three-day moot competition of 36 general rounds and 6 elimination rounds.

In a showcase of exceptional talent and dedication scrutinized by a most distinguished panel comprising regional household names Fatima Balfaqeeh and Alain Farhad, with the academic director of CILE, Ronald A. Brand, presiding, the Royal Institute of Colombo, Sri Lanka, secured victory in the final round against the University of Birmingham (UAE). The program was greatly enhanced by more than 50 local, regional and international practitioners in the field of arbitration volunteering their time to act as arbitrators for the competition.

The Pre-Moot provides exceptional academic and practical learning for the student participants and the prospect of the tangible recognition of outstanding performances with the support of the legal community. As every year, therefore, there were notable prizes and valuable opportunities for stand-out participants, including two US$15,000 scholarships to the University of Pittsburgh's LL.M. program, and four prestigious internships at renowned institutions, including BCDR, Stephenson Harwood law firm, Balfaqeeh Advocates & Legal Consultants, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius law firm. The winning team also received a gift voucher for the ICC digital library.

Since its inception in 2011, the Middle East Vis Pre-Moot program has remained an integral part of BCDR's mission to promote academic and practical knowledge of arbitration while also fostering a robust network for aspiring legal professionals. Through this initiative, BCDR aims to increase awareness of international commercial arbitration, enhance standards of advocacy, and advance the study and practice of international commercial law and arbitration in the Middle East. Over 1,000 students have benefited from this unique formative experience, reinforcing its status as a central platform for the legal community.

BCDR extends its heartfelt thanks to all those who have supported the Pre-Moot over the years, both locally and internationally. Their contributions, whether through offering internships, cash prizes, or volunteering time and expertise, have been instrumental in the success of this program. Together, we continue to empower the next generation of legal minds and to contribute to the shaping the future of international arbitration.

To watch the final round and/or the award ceremony, please click here.

The next edition of the program is tentatively set to take place from 3 to 7 February 2025 at ADGM.